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Week of 10 December 2001

Latest Update: Saturday, 26 April 2003 08:53

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Monday, 10 December 2001

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Christmas page is up at last. I did some quick shots today with the digital camera. I will keep you updated as I add more or replace some of the ones that did not turn out too good.

Make sure you check out the recent addition to the Bilbrey household Sally. All I can say is that Sally is one more lucky gal to go to this wonderful home. I am very excited for Brian and Marcia that they are finally able to get their dog. She has such a cute face, very adorable. 

On the office front, yes, I did get my desk cleared and the wrapping table (card table) that is set up behind my chair cleaned up. I spent most if not all day in my office working. The lamb chops turned out good on the grill. Last night we read and played hall ball with Malcolm until time for Practice than off to bed.

Off this morning to go Christmas shopping with my sister. I needed to pick up just a few more things and she has not done all of hers. And of course, after days of clear, sunny warm weather today is to be cold and rainy. Oh well. We need the rain. In addition to the Christmas shopping I have a few other errands to run such as drug store and post office.

I am enjoying the Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer, I mention last week. I like her style and her sneaky sense of humor. She has her characters saying or doing rather funny things when you least expect it. 

I hope your week gets off to a good start. 



Tuesday, 11 December 2001

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A lot to talk about today. First off, I finished most of my Christmas shopping yesterday. Frances and I were finished  by mid-morning than had lunch before heading off in separate directions. I came back to this side of town for stops at the pet store and drugstore. I have one or two special items that I need to get for my parents but otherwise I am finished.

Last night we finally had a quiet relaxing evening to open the lovely gifts sent by Marcia. What a delight it was to open the boxes and find her lovely homemade Christmas ornaments. Today I am going to hang them close together on the tree to get a picture for the Christmas page. And, another package arrived yesterday for The Boys. They loved their Dog Bark biscuits but I have not given them any of the candy cane rawhides yet.

Now the long part. I have been concerned about a place on Duncan's back that has not healed since mid-summer. I fairly sure I remember removing a fairly large tick from that location. I rarely find ticks on my guys but when I do I just removed it, put ointment on and let it heal. However, this place is still raw looking after I have treated it several more times. 

As I reported the day after Thanksgiving Malcolm bit Duncan in the ear and then again a few days later. I also discovered last week that somehow Duncan broke a lower canine tooth, most likely playing stick in the front yard. Yesterday afternoon I decided a vet visit was needed to check out these concerns. One of my main ones was Duncan has developed some sort of tick born illness from the bite on his back. 

So, off we head to the vet for a 4:30 appointment. We decided the best thing to do to rule out any medical causes for the wound was to do draw blood for two test panels. The Wellness Care Work-Up will check for blood cell counts, liver and kidney functions, etc. The same things covered for humans. The second one is a tick born illness panel to see if he did contract something. 

Once that was done the vet shaved his injured ear tip which is healing nicely and shaved around the wound. She then did a little exploring and found that Duncan has developed some type of abscess or drainage area under the skin around the wound area. She put him on antibiotics and now we wait to hear back from the blood work. He will have to go back to the vet for his tooth. Dr. Craig, specializes in dental care for animals. He will perform a root canal or whatever needs to be done to save the tooth. At the same time they will do in a place a drain in the wounded area unless we discover a much more serious problem.

All in all, I am relieved yet concerned. Duncan behaved so wonderful at the vet with all the poking, prodding, and sticking with out uttering one word. He is a great dog and I hope is going to be okay.

We had a total of 2" of rain yesterday. While it did not ease the major drought situation with water tables and lakes, it will make plants, trees, and lawns happy. We are very lucky here. Just south of us in Charlotte and west in the mountains they have freezing rain. 

Well, I am off to SciWorks this morning to get a little work done on the library. Tonight I want to go to gym class so early dinner for us.


Wednesday, 12 December 2001

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New pictures have been added to the Christmas page. I added close-ups of Marcia's ornaments plus one of a very strange looking "Rudolph". This guys shows up every year from somewhere?

Yesterday was one of those ho-hum days. I spent the afternoon alternating between the office working and playing with the dogs. We got back the report on Duncan. The good news is he does not have any tick born or physical illnesses that has caused this place on his back. He will go to the vet next Wednesday when I take Malcolm. Duncan will get the abscessed area looked at and his lower canine tooth repaired while Malcolm will get neutered and his teeth cleaned. 

Gym class last night was tough but fun. I missed all of last week and I could tell it last night. Buns & Thighs class was taught by the instructor who will be teaching a new class beginning the first of the year, Body Pump. Basically the same class but we will be using bar bells with weights. The instructor is using the current Buns & Thighs class to teach proper form, etc. Then, spinning class followed the B & T class. 

This morning I will go to the gym to do some weight work and a light aerobic workout to get rid of the stiffness from last night's classes. Then on to the grocery store. This afternoon while I wrap Christmas presents I am going to let the oven self clean. I still have to scrub the racks, I don't like to do those in the self cleaning process. Once the process finishes I will have to wipe out the ash and stuff. 

Tonight is library/dinner night for us. On the way to dinner we have to stop and pick up another phone card to extend the time on my new phone.

Rainy and drizzly today. More cool like weather for December to get us into the Christmas spirit. Rain is supposed to come in again either tonight or tomorrow. We really need this week of cool, damp weather.

Thanks for coming by for visit.


Thursday, 13 December 2001

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I have decided there are probably many of the modern world technologies I could live without but a self cleaning oven is not one of them. How wonderful to spend five minutes prepping the oven and three hours later have an almost new looking appliance. The metal racks only took about fifteen to twenty minutes.

I see on Marcia's page the old chocolate and dogs conversation has come up in the Bilbrey household. I sent Marcia's some web sites about chocolate and dogs and a couple of sites listing other things you should not give them to eat. Our friend/former vet has been to our house to eat on several occasions. We have had chocolate cake or pie for dessert and she let my guys lick the plates. That small amount of chocolate for my guys who all go over fifty pounds will not hurt them. However, I refrain from letting them lick my ice cream bowl or dessert plate when I eat it just on general principle.

However, I have a story to tell. Not long after we moved Lenore in her downstairs apartment a bowl of Hershey's Kisses mysteriously disappeared. Lenore kept them on the coffee table. Kerry was living downstairs at the time. Bob has always claimed that our friend who came over that day to take Lenore somewhere ate them all. My guess is Kerry, alone for awhile, helped himself to the treat--candy, paper and all. We of course did not discover the missing candy for days and Kerry is now 14!

Rainy days. We have not seen the sun since this past weekend. Yesterday was another damp and cool day. I am not complaining because the moisture even with the little rain we are having is good for everything. I spent yesterday afternoon wrapping Christmas packages and doing stuff in my office. 

This morning I am off to my parents house for lunch. My dad and I have a couple of errands to run and I need to stop at the License Plate Bureau to pick up Lenore's new handicap tag for the car when we take her places.

This afternoon I will wrap some more packages, etc.

A nap may be in the works somewhere as I had a very bad night for some reason and did not get much sleep.


Friday, 14 December 2001

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"Nothing to write home about". There is not really much of anything new going on at the Thompson Techno Grotto. Bob is working hard on the book and I am doing the last little bit of Christmas stuff. I wrapped a few more things yesterday afternoon. Last night I worked on paying bills and financial stuff.

I never did take my nap. I stayed up to watch ER last night struggling to stay away to the very end.

This morning I need to make a trip out to Lowe's. The shade/blind that was on the back door window broke earlier this week.  This is not the first time one of the plastic mounting pieces has broken off. This one was special made at a wallpaper store that has now gone out of business. The window is an odd size. When we bought the house the window had a curtain that I did not like. I replaced it with one of the new blinds that looks like paper rather than the traditional slats. 

Since I am out that way anyway I think I will stop at SciWorks and type catalog cards for the books for a couple of hours. The weather is rather iffy for observing tonight. 

Have a great weekend. 


Saturday, 15 December 2001

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"Surprise" package. I do mean surprise. Last night around 6:30 or so I heard the obvious sounds of the UPS truck pull up in front of our house. The dogs, alert as ever, started barking their heads off so I knew he was bringing something to our door and not one of the neighbors.

The package was addressed to me but with my Research Solutions business as the primary receiver. Since I had not ordered anything under my business name I was very curious. The confusion continued to mount when I opened the box and saw aCanadian French version of a board game called Cranium. My immediate thought being the company made a mistake in sending it to me for one reason or another. There is another Barbara Thompson member of AIIP and I thought possibly the mix-up was related in some way to that.

The invoice showed no charge and our street name was misspelled. I headed back to my office to find a web site so I could give them a call. Just as I sat down at my computer bells went off in my head. Several months ago I received e-mail from a person asking permission to use one of my photo's from my Montreal trip of Mount Royal for a new Canadian French version of this US board game. Sure enough, I guess the author who used my picture had them send me a copy of the game. Very nice of them but since I don't speak a word of French it will reside on my shelf as a "trophy". Of all the thousands of pictures I am sure exists of Mount Royal I guess I should be honored that mine is being used. I am sure it has to do with the fact that I could be located and grant permission for the image. 

Other than that bit of excitement there is not much else to talk about from yesterday. I had to special order my blind from Lowe's. They have several versions of my old one in stock but they were all way too long. I needed one only 36" long and the shortest one they had was "42. They make custom ones in the same type blind that ranged from $24 to $100 in the size I needed. I went with a nice looking medium priced one. Lowe's will ship it directly to the house which is nice.

We sat around reading and listening to music most of the evening. I was too sleepy to try to stay up and watch my show at ten and let it tape instead.

The sun is shinning today, the first time since last Sunday. I need to crank up the mower and do one last mowing and then change the oil and clean it up for the winter. 

The weather conditions for tonight's observing are still a little iffy so we may or may not go up to Bullington. If so, I will fix an early dinner of left over pork loin from the other night and rice from last night Chinese takeout.


Sunday, 16 December 2001

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Thanks to one of my readers who pointed out I had a couple of bad links in yesterday's journal entry. They are now fixed.

Cloud out! Yep, last night was a complete wash out. We ate an early dinner, packed up, and headed for Bullington. As we were driving north we could see some clouds but hoped that they were breaking up. Instead, by the time we arrived at the observation site things were not looking too promising. After sitting around for the better part of an hour and a half we decided to give up and come home. While there was a few spotty breaks in the clouds, haze and low level junk would have made seeing horrid anyway.

Back home by 7:30, I fixed some popcorn and watched a taped Masterpiece Theater from a couple of weeks ago.

I did not mow the lawn yesterday. Instead I spend about five hours cutting and sawing up tree branches. The maple in the front yard had several low limbs that needed removed. Since the only thing I am more afraid of than snakes is a chain saw, I do all the tree lopping with one of those long pole gadgets with a tree saw attached to the end.

It works pretty well except it is very tiring and hard on the arms. At one point I had a very heavy limb that I could not get cut through and ended up getting the saw bound up. I had to get Bob to come out and help me get it cut through. He also helped me with another really thick branch that he could reach with the regular saw.

After all the limbs were down I cut and sawed them up for the brush truck to remove and hauled a good dozen or more to the back wood pile. Next, I tackled the pine tree in the back. Most of the bottom limbs were dead so I sawed about six or eight really long ones that I could get to with the loppers. In between taking these down and sawing them up I took a break for lunch and to rest.

The ground was really too wet to mow anyway but I was too tired by the time I finished all the tree stuff. I came in to rest and take a shower before it was time to prepare for last night.

This morning is house cleaning. I have a home visit just up the road at 1:30. I am taking Malcolm on this one. This afternoon I will mow the lawn when I get back and then change the oil and clean up the mower for the winter.



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